Event Updates

Wilkerson’s Polar Air Ford Mustang halted in first round

NORWALK, Ohio (June 23, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson brought his Polar Air Compressors Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car came to the starting line with heated intent for the first round of the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray & Shoup crew were eager to put their Ford in the winner’s circle, but their day was, unfortunately, abbreviated.

Wilkerson, the No. 9 qualifier, pulled up next to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round and set his sights on getting to the finish line first. Wilk launched with a .082-second reaction time that nearly matched that of his opponent, but down-track his run was disrupted as his tires could not agree with the surface.

“It was waddling down through there, doing what it was supposed to do, and then we got to a spot we just couldn’t past. I think what got me in trouble was that both of the hot runs I made in qualifying were in the left lane, which was notoriously better,” said Wilkerson. Johnson smoked the tires soon after but made it to the finish line first for a 4.288, 215.62 mph win over a 4.462, 195.11.

“We’ve had such good races the last few weeks and just got beat. Today, we just didn’t do a good job,” said Wilkerson, who will be back in the 40th anniversary Levi, Ray and Shoup 2019 Ford Mustang at the next event.

“We’re disappointed because we wanted to do good here for the folks from Polar Air and Summit Racing here, but we’ll be back. We’ll try to do a better job for Epping.”

The next event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., July 5-7.

Tim Wilkerson
Polar Air Compressor Ford Mustang
Results
R1: Tommy Johnson Jr. defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.288-second at 215.62 mph to 4.462, 195.11

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, race 12 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1022
2. John Force, 869
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 856
4. Jack Beckman, 819
5. Ron Capps (2), 809
6. J.R. Todd (1), 764
7. Bob Tasca III (2), 689
8. Matt Hagan (1), 656
9. Tim Wilkerson, 619
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 580

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

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NORWALK, Ohio (June 22, 2019) – The racing surface at Summit Motorsports Park is terrific. The conditions at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals has been sublime. Tim Wilkerson, driver of the Polar Air Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car, is smooth and settled as race day approaches at the 13th annual event held in Norwalk.

Qualifying for the race was pleasing for the driver who is normally in the 40th anniversary Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car. This weekend, he is campaigning an ultra-cool Polar Air Compressors scheme for the family-owned company based in Ohio, and president Matt Cain and family are on the property in Norwalk cheering on their driver.

Under the Team Summit umbrella, Wilkerson wheeled his way to a best qualifying time of 3.935-second at 323.04 mph to slide into the No. 9 position. On Friday he was very quick, clocking back-to-back sub 4-second passes.

“We were No. 8 heading into that last session, but we lost one spot in the last qualifier,” said Wilkerson. “We tried really hard there, and the thing just barely hiccupped and put a hole out, so I had to shut it off.”

The dropped cylinder didn’t faze the 20-time NHRA Funny Car winner. He knows that the day will dawn new, and that his car has a solid foundation on which to build.

“I’m in a pretty good place,” he said. “We’re leaning on the aggressive side, trying to make the thing run a little better, and it responded a little there. I just think it needs a little more love. The track is way good, and I’m pretty optimistic tomorrow. Our Polar Air Mustang left the starting line good four times, and if it wouldn’t have put a hole out that run it would have been really fast, so we have to knock on wood and hope that we don’t have that problem for tomorrow.

“Anyhow, I’m really excited to have a chance to put this Ford in the winner’s circle tomorrow for the folks at Polar Air, LRS, and Summit Racing. This is always such a neat race, and it would be really special to close the deal on our first win of the season here.”

Final eliminations for the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals are set for Sunday at 11am ET at Summit Motorsports Park.

Tim Wilkerson
Polar Air Compressor Ford Mustang
Results
Q1: 3.980-second at 3 15.42 mph (No. 4)
Q2: 3.935, 323.04 (No. 8)
Q3: 4.008, 320.43 (No. 8)
Q4: 4.858, 159.97 (No. 9)

Round one opponent: Tommy Johnson Jr.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 12 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1022
2. John Force, 829
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 816
4. Ron Capps (2), 789
5. Jack Beckman, 759
6. J.R. Todd (1), 744
7. Matt Hagan (1), 656
8. Tim Wilkerson, 619
9. Bob Tasca III (1), 609
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 560

Race Info
13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Summit Motorsports Park
Norwalk, Ohio
June 21-23, 2019

Summit Motorsports Park Track Records
Top Fuel
Doug Kalitta, 3.709 (2017); Clay Millican, 332.67 (2018)
Funny Car
Matt Hagan, 3.865 (2017); Robert Hight, 334.65 (2017)
Pro Stock
Erica Enders, 6.523 (2014); Enders, 212.63 (2014)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Eddie Krawiec, 6.822 (2016); Hector Arana Jr., 197.36 (2017)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 23
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 6:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1
Bonus Coverage / Tuesday – 7-8 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using @SummitRacing #NorwalkNats on social media

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

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Puzzle solved just three-hundredths too late for Wilkerson in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 16, 2019) – Bristol Dragway was a mystery in qualifying for nitro Funny Car veteran Tim Wilkerson. In round one of eliminations at the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Wilkerson finally solved the puzzle – unfortunately, his clean pass down the racetrack in the Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang just wasn’t enough, and he lost a close race by a mere .03-second with Jack Beckman.

“We just were plagued with dumb things this weekend,” said Wilkerson, who was off the starting line first in the opening round and barely missed the win light, clocking a 4.063-second pass at 310.48 mph to his opponent’s winning 4.031, 318.47.

“It’s just been unbelievable,” he continued. “One run after another, something would break or fall off. It was bad. Today we were able to get down the track, but we just needed to push a little harder than we did. I’m mad that I got beat.”

Qualifying was not fun for Team LRS, as Wilkerson simply could not make his Ford Mustang play nice with the tricky racing surface. He was unable to make a clean pass in any of the four allotted qualifying rounds, and that had him digging heavily into his bank of knowledge heading into Sunday.

Without lane choice, Wilk knew the odds were stacked against him, but he came out and made the best run of the round for the challenging left lane.

“It’s not really a consolation, but at this point, we’re really just looking forward to making our way to Norwalk for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals,” said Wilkerson. “With the permission of our primary sponsor, Dick Levi, and the Levi, Ray and Shoup folks, we’ll be running a special Polar Air Compressors design on our Ford Mustang in Norwalk. It looks really cool, and we’re hopeful that we have everything worked out and have a good showing.”

The next event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, June 20-23.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
R1: Jack Beckman defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.031-second at 318.47 mph to 4.063, 310.48

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, race 11 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 990
2. John Force, 786
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 783
4. Ron Capps (2), 741
5. Jack Beckman, 720
6. J.R. Todd (1), 711
7. Matt Hagan (1), 624
8. Tim Wilkerson, 587
9. Bob Tasca III (1), 574
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 528

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

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19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

Wilkerson challenged in Bristol qualifying, looking to even score on Sunday

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 15, 2019) – The characteristics of the racing surface at Bristol Dragway make it, arguably, one of the toughest tracks to navigate on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray and Shoup nitro Funny Car team felt as though qualifying for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals dealt them a blow, but the tenacious group is already back on their feet and ready to battle for the trophy on Sunday.

The final qualifying session, although unproductive in terms of moving up the ladder, brought a morale boost to the team. A bolt fell out of the rocker stand and halted proper movement of oil through the engine at the end of Wilkerson’s burnout. When he stepped on the gas to launch into the run, the car pulled to the right.

“I was steering it back and thought, well, it’s coming back,” said Wilkerson. “But there was no way it went right like that unless it had a hole out. It wasn’t going to go very fast with a hole out, so I shut it off – and it’s a good thing I did.”

The damaged parts the team found when they came back to the pit area indicate that they could have had a mighty problem on their hands if Wilk had pushed through in an attempt to make a full pass. An engine explosion and damage to the Funny Car body were imminent.

“That was a good decision, and it saved us,” said Wilkerson, who is locked into the No. 13 qualifying position and will race Jack Beckman in the first round of eliminations.

Every racetrack on the tour has its own personality, and in Bristol, a passthrough for fans to travel back and forth beneath the racetrack to either side of the property has created a set of bumps. Drivers and crew chiefs work diligently to successfully navigate the unique surface.

With a cylinder out on his first qualifying pass, Wilkerson lifted rather than destroy any of the equipment beneath the body of his LRS Ford Mustang. In the second and third qualifying sessions, he got to the trickiest part of the racetrack, dropped a hole, and had to get out of the throttle.

“We didn’t make a good run in qualifying, but the odds are in our favor – we should be able to go out there tomorrow and make a good run,” said two-time Bristol runner-up Wilkerson. “It is very hard to negotiate the racetrack, especially the left lane, but we’ll do our best, and away we’ll go. It’s extremely challenging, because this car is so good, and we haven’t really had a chance to show it yet this weekend. But that’s what Sunday is for.”

Final eliminations for the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals are set for Sunday at noon ET at Bristol Dragway.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
Q1: 4.825-second at 161.36 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 4.497, 191.02 (No. 12)
Q3: 4.468, 195.03 (No. 13)
Q4: 5.051, 152.79 (No. 13)

Round one opponent: Jack Beckman

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying, race 11 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 970
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 763
3. John Force, 726
4. Ron Capps (2), 701
5. J.R. Todd (1), 691
6. Jack Beckman, 680
7. Matt Hagan (1), 624
8. Tim Wilkerson, 587
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 508
10. Bob Tasca III, 494

Race Info
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 16
11:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
12:00 noon – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30 PM-12 AM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #ThunderValleyNats on social media

**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**

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Pre-Race Package
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car event 11 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 8

• Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson has reached the final round twice in Bristol. He was runner-up in both 2010 and 2014.
• Bristol is one of just five racetracks on the tour where Wilkerson has yet to claim victory. He is still in the hunt for wins in Bristol, Pomona, Epping, Brainerd, and Richmond.
• Wilkerson hails from Springfield, Ill., and will be racing for the trophy for longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup. Wilkerson has been primarily sponsored by LRS for 20 years in one of the longest standing partnerships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson debuted his brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car body this season at the Virginia Nationals in Richmond, but he will not be running it in Bristol as it was damaged two races ago in Chicago when he came into contact with the guard wall during eliminations.
• Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 nitro Funny Car victories piloting a Ford Mustang.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Bristol
2 final rounds
Runner-up 2014 (Tommy Johnson Jr.)
Runner-up 2010 (John Force)
In 2018: Qualified No. 13, first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Heartland Nationals in Topeka
(most recent Funny Car event)
503 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“Our LRS Ford Mustang is responding well, and for the most part it’s doing what we ask it to do. I’m real happy about that, and I think we’ll have a good race out there. We’re hoping we can make a really, really good run or two in qualifying to set us up Sunday, and we’ll see what we can do from there. That track can be tricky, but we’ve got a good car, and for the most part we know what to expect with that particular racing surface. It’s a neat place, and they’ve got crazy-good fans out there who just love racing. That makes it a lot of fun.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 933
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 725
3. John Force, 681
4. Ron Capps (2), 666
5. J.R. Todd (1), 656
6. Jack Beckman, 645
7. Matt Hagan (1), 612
8. Tim Wilkerson, 556
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 455

Race Info
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, June 14
10:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
4:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
7:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 15
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
1:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 16
11:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
12:00 noon – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 7:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30 PM-12 AM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #ThunderValleyNats on social media

**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**

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The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Wilkerson closing in on first win of season

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 9, 2019) — Final eliminations are complete at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, and Tim Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Funny Car team put together a solid set of passes to protect their standing in the Funny Car top 10. Their accomplishments were particularly impressive on raceday at Heartland Motorsports Park as Wilkerson drove his way to the second round in conditions for which no one really had any data.

“Our car was just a little slow leaving,” said Wilkerson. “It would have been a good run, otherwise. I thought it would run 3.93 or so, and that’s about what it did, so you can’t be too upset about it. We lost, but it was another good race.”

The conditions in Topeka on Sunday were remarkably different than they had been all weekend long, with the blazing sun and hot, thick air exchanged for cooler temps and a blanket of cloud cover. After dropping a cylinder in the first round but still clocking a sub-four second run to beat Jack Wyatt, 3.983, 207.35 to 4.368, 235.80, Wilkerson knew he had a good idea of what the racing surface wanted.

In the second round, Wilkerson left the starting line ahead of Jack Beckman, but his opponent closed the gap and went on to win it, 3.940, 325.45 to 3.956, 320.58.

“Yeah, we leaned on it a little harder in the second round, but it didn’t quite respond how I thought it would,” said Wilkerson, who remains No. 8 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings. “It was really weird air today, and we lost a good one again, just like we did the week before. We still have a pretty good car, though, and I’m excited about that. The guys are really doing a nice job keeping it consistent, and that makes my job easier. We’re looking forward to Bristol next week. We’re going to win our share of these kind of races.”

The next event on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour will be the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, June 14-16, 2019.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results:
R1: Tim Wilkerson (3.983-second at 207.35 mph) defeated Jack Wyatt (4.368, 235.80)
R2: Jack Beckman (3.940, 325.45) def. Wilkerson (3.956, 320.58)

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 933
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 725
3. John Force, 681
4. Ron Capps (2), 666
5. J.R. Todd (1), 656
6. Jack Beckman, 645
7. Matt Hagan (1), 612
8. Tim Wilkerson, 556
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 455

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Back in blue, Team LRS looking to honor their old pal with a win

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA NationalsTOPEKA, Kan. (June 8, 2019) – Qualifying for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals looked a little bit like Tim Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Funny Car team had stepped back in time. After their brand-new Mustang sustained rear quarter-panel damage last weekend, they had to bring out their former LRS steed for the race at Heartland Motorsports Park. It quickly became evident that their old horse wasn’t quite ready to retire.

Wilkerson qualified in the No. 2 position and swept in a handful of bonus points to sweeten the deal heading into Sunday eliminations.

“We sure can’t wait to win with that new Funny Car body, but she had to go back and get some work done after we made contact with the wall in Chicago, and so far, this old body has been pretty good to us here,” said Wilkerson, who was sturdy out of the gate as he powered to a 4.037-second pass at 295.92 mph for the No. 3 spot in the opening act.

The second session on a hot Friday in Topeka amounted to a killer 3.931, 318.54 that was second best of all and landed the team in the No. 2 position. Through two more rounds of qualifying, Wilk held strong.

“Back in 2016, we won Phoenix with our old Funny Car body, then came out well with the new one,” recalled Wilkerson. “I think we can do the same thing here. Tomorrow is going to be a different day, but I know what we’re capable of.”

Wilkerson’s first national event win came in Top Alcohol Funny Car at Topeka in 1994, and he has been to the final round there twice in a nitro Funny Car – most recently in 2008. He has yet to seal the deal, but he sees Sunday as a chance to right that particular stat.

“It’s real neat that this is the 15th anniversary of our first national event win, and it would sure be cool to celebrate it with our first Topeka fuel Funny Car win,” said Wilkerson, a 20-time winner on the NHRA Pro tour. “I think it’s going to be a good day tomorrow. It’s been too long since we’ve been able to get to the winner’s circle on Sunday, and we’ve been close. We need to get this bridesmaid dress knocked off and get an I do.”

Final eliminations are set for Sunday at 11am at Heartland Motorsports Park.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results:
Q1: 4.037-second at 295.92 mph (No. 3, +1 bonus point)
Q2: 3.931, 318.54 (No. 2, +2)
Q3: 4.149, 264.23 (No. 2)
Q4: 4.024, 307.86 (No. 2, +1)

Round one opponent: Jack Wyatt

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after qualifying for the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (3), 853
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 685
3. Ron Capps (2), 646
4. John Force, 641
5. J.R. Todd (1), 636
6. Matt Hagan (1), 592
7. Jack Beckman, 585
8. Tim Wilkerson, 536
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 435

Race Info
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka
June 7-9, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 9
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Series pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. –Pro eliminations begin, Sportsman eliminations continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10-11 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 12-1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 20 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #HeartlandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

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Tim Wilkerson Racing, Funny Car event 10 of 24
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka (TK)

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 8

Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson’s first national event win came at Heartland Motorsports Park in 1994 in an alcohol Funny Car
• Wilkerson ran his career-best speed in a nitro Funny Car at this event in 2016 when he went 333.74 mph
• Wilkerson hails from Springfield, Ill., and will be racing for the trophy for longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup. Wilkerson has been primarily sponsored by LRS for 20 years in one of the longest standing partnerships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson debuted his brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car body this season at the Virginia Nationals in Richmond, but he will not be running it in Topeka as it was damaged in Chicago when he came into contact with the guard wall during eliminations.
• Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 nitro Funny Car victories piloting a Ford Mustang.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Topeka
1 win in 3 Topeka final rounds, including sportsman competition
Runner-up 2008 (John Force)
Runner-up 2002 (Tony Pedregon)
Won TAFC (Top Alcohol Funny Car) 1994 (beat Jackie Stidham)
In 2018: Qualified No. 9, first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Route 66 Nationals in Chicago
(most recent Funny Car event)
502 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“We caused a little bit of damage to our new Ford Mustang body out there in Chicago, so we’re getting that looked at and fixed up, but for now we’re back to one of our older bodies. This will give us a chance to narrow things down and see if our issues have been part of the new equation. We had a really good car in Chicago, and it was aggravating to [damage it]. Anyhow, we’re excited to get to Topeka and get set up and going. We’ve done well there in the past, and we always have a pretty big contingent of support there.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Route 66 NHRA Nationals, race 9 of 18)

1. Robert Hight (3), 818
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 650
3. Ron Capps (2), 610
4. John Force, 596
5. J.R. Todd (1), 593
6. Matt Hagan (1), 559
7. Jack Beckman, 553
8. Tim Wilkerson, 495
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 435
10. Bob Tasca III, 401

Race Info
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka
June 7-9, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, June 7
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
3:15 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 1
4:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
6:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 2
8:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 8
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
11:30 a.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 3
12:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
2:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown round 1
3:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 9
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Series pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. –Pro eliminations begin, Sportsman eliminations continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10-11 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 12-1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule

Finals / Thursday, June 20 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2
 

 

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #HeartlandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**